Friday in the Second Week of Easter

Revelation 4:1-11

A Glimpse of Worship in Heaven

After having dictated our Lord’s messages to the churches, we now find John caught up into heaven to see things which “must take place after this.”  But before he is allowed to see things concerning the hereafter, he first sees things of eternity, things of such indescribable beauty that he struggles with words to paint the majesty of that displayed before his eyes.  For before his eyes is a throne and One seated thereupon.  He uses precious gems to describe the One upon the throne, but even these do not do justice to the scene.  Twenty-four thrones with regal elders seated upon them surround the one great throne.  There are flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder.  And then four very odd-looking creatures are described who are closest to the throne.

Of course, what John is seeing is the throne room of heaven itself, and the One seated upon the throne is the Lord God Almighty Himself.  The odd-looking creatures are the highest order of angelic beings (perhaps cherubim), while the twenty-four elders may represent the twelve tribes of Israel of the Old Testament and the twelve apostles of the New, indicating the completion of revelation and the totality of God’s people under both covenants.

The scene is so awesome.  We must remember that when we gather for worship, these members of the heavenly court are our visitors, as we are reminded in Hebrews 12:18-29.  But what is even more awe-inspiring are the words the angelic beings lead everyone to say: “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come!”  It is a statement concerning who our God is, that He is first and foremost holy.  Nowhere in the Bible is another adjective used to describe our God in this threefold way.  We do not read, “Loving, loving, loving” or “Gracious, gracious, gracious, is the Lord God Almighty.”  Certainly, He is.  But the Bible would have us know that the most essential characteristic of God is His holiness, His otherness, His set apart-ness, His “He’s the only One who is who He is – ness.”  And so the first commandment tells us, “You shall have no other gods besides me,” because there are no other gods but Him.  Only He is God.  And because He is God, He is eternal.  There never was a time when He was not, and there never shall be a time when He is not.  We remember that when He spoke to Moses, He named Himself, “I Am,” because He is (Exodus 3:14).  Only He has life in Himself.  He is the eternal One, the self-existent One, the holy One, and forever worthy of our worship.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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